How International Students Can Get a CPL License in Canada?

how international students can get a CPL license in canada?

Discover the steps that international students must take to obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) in Canada. Start your aviation journey today!

A commercial pilot license is a license that allows one to fly an aircraft legally and get paid as a pilot. Holding a commercial pilot license means you already hold a private pilot license (PPL) and have finished your training toward a CPL. A private pilot license (PPL) allows the licensed pilot to fly single-engine aircraft for personal use, while a commercial pilot license (CPL) enables the pilot to earn money by providing pilot services. Obtaining a commercial pilot license opens up a world of opportunities in the aviation industry. For international students who are aspiring to pursue a career as a pilot in Canada, acquiring a CPL is a crucial step. 

gets commercial pilot license

Benefits of Obtaining a CPL in Canada

High-quality Training Standards

Canada is renowned for its high-quality flight training programs, which can benefit international students by providing top-notch instructions and practical training ensuring a successful career in the aviation industry.

Globally Recognized Certification

A CPL obtained in Canada is recognized worldwide, opening international job opportunities for graduates. The certification is highly respected in the aviation industry and enhances career prospects.

Career Advancement

Obtaining a CPL in Canada can enhance career prospects. Canada’s aviation industry offers a range of job opportunities for qualified pilots.

Access to Modern Aviation Infrastructure

Canada has modern airports, advanced air traffic control systems, and top-notch aviation facilities. International students can use these facilities, getting practical experience with the latest equipment and technology.

Eligibility Criteria

The basic requirements to obtain a CPL are:

  • Age Requirement: 18 years of age and older.

  • Must hold a private pilot license.

  • Medical fitness: Must pass a medical examination conducted by a Transport Canada-approved aviation medical examiner and obtain a Class 1 medical certificate.

  • English Language: Must demonstrate English language proficiency as aviation communication is conducted in English.

  • Written and flight test: Candidates have to clear the written exam with 60% in areas like air law, meteorology, navigation, and general knowledge conducted by Transport Canada. Also, you need to complete the flight test conducted by the flight test examiner.

The total flying hours required to get a commercial pilot license usually range around 200 hours.

Job Opportunities and Career Path

There are a lot of jobs that you can go for after getting a commercial pilot license, including

  1. Airline Pilot
  2. Cargo Pilot
  3. Agriculture Pilot
  4. Flight Instructor
  5. Business Aviation Pilot

Commercial Pilot License Process

Ground School

This covers theoretical training related to aviation, including subjects such as aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation, and air law.

  1. You will be required to pass a series of written tests based on subjects covered in ground school administered by the aviation authority.

  2. Once you have cleared the written test and completed the required flying hours, you will be required to undergo a flight test with an authorized examiner. In this test, your flying skills, decision-making abilities, and overall competency as a commercial pilot will be tested.

  3. Record all your flying hours and other required documentation; these records will be verified and reviewed during the license application process.

  4. After completing all the required training, exams, and flying tests successfully, you can apply for a commercial pilot license. It involves submitting various documents, paying fees, and waiting for the license to be issued.

Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Course Duration

Getting a commercial pilot license takes around 12 months to complete. In the first 2-3 months, CPL ground school classes are conducted and after that, CPL flight training is conducted,  and after that CPL flight training includes single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument engine rating courses.

A typical CPL course includes classroom instructions, flight training, simulator sessions, cross-country flying, night flying, and instrument flying. Students should gather a certain number of flight hours to qualify for a commercial pilot license.

Flying Requirements for a CPL Course

The flight requirements for getting a CPL can change based on the aviation authority and aviation programs.

Flight Hours

Commercial pilots must gather a minimum number of flight hours, which is 200 hours. Flight hours include solo and dual flights.

Cross-country Flight Hours

The minimum required time for cross-country flight hours includes flying to different airports or locations. Cross-country hours can range from 20 hours.

Night Flight Hours

The requirement for night flight hours is generally around 20 hours. This will include a dual night for 5 hours; a solo night- for 5 hours (10 takeoff and landings) and 10 hours of instrument time.

In instrument flight training, you fly using aircraft instruments without relying on external visual cues. It usually requires 20 hours.

Dual and Solo Flight Hours

Your flying hours are divided into dual instruction (with an instructor) and solo flight time. You need a significant amount of solo flight time to show your skill and experience.

Training in Various Aircraft

CPL candidates may be required to log flight hours in a variety of aircraft to gain experience. Both single-engine and multi-engine aircraft can be used, depending on specific commercial pilot licenses.

Check Ride

At the end of the CPL course, you must pass a practical test called the CPL check ride. In this test, your flying skills, knowledge, and decision-making abilities are tested.

Skill Test

In the context of a commercial pilot license, a skill test is a practical exam that aspiring pilots must pass to demonstrate the flying abilities. The test is conducted by a designated flight examiner approved by the aviation authority.

This is the final step in the CPL training process. It can be attempted after completing all flying hours and meeting other requirements set by the aviation authority.
During the skill test evaluation is done based on various flight maneuvers and procedures. These include

– Pre-flight checks and aircraft inspection

– Take-offs and landings

– Slow flights

– Sleep turns

– Emergency procedures

– Landing and precision approaches

– Flight at different altitudes and airspaces.

The examiner will assess the candidate’s ability to handle various flight scenarios and emergencies safely and efficiently. The skill test typically includes both a practical flight portion and an oral exam where the candidate may be asked questions related to flight planning, regulations, aircraft systems, and other aviation topics.

Passing the CPL sill test is a milestone, as successful candidates will receive a commercial pilot license, allowing them to operate as paid pilots and pursue various career opportunities in the aviation industry.

Obtaining a commercial pilot license as an international student in Canada is not just about acquiring a license; it’s the beginning of an exciting journey toward a fulfilling career in aviation. Beyond technical skills and knowledge, this experience offers invaluable personal growth.

So, if you are ready to pursue your dream to become a pilot, Canada awaits with open arms, with world-class flight training facilities, experienced instructors, and stunning landscapes to explore from the sky. Canada offers the perfect setting for you to spread your wings and reach new heights.


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